Sunday, July 6, 2014

"Oh, Kaye!" Talks About Small Town Living and The 4th of July

I was raised in a small town, but then ended up in the big city of Atlanta for 30+ years.

We moved to Boone in 1997, and I must say - I was happy to be back in a small town.  

And still am.

I am most definitely, at heart, a small town girl.

And one of the things that brings all this home to me, when life in general causes me to forget, is the 4th of July.

Come enjoy a very special parade and a few street scenes from the small town in the North Carolina mountains Donald and I call home.

First of all, you should understand that it's virtually impossible for me to go into town for any reason and not have breakfast at my favorite restaurant, Melanie's Food Fantasy.

This is Melanie.  She has owned this
Boone landmark since before we moved here.
Melanie rocks.

And so does everything on her menu - especially the Eggs Benedict

A perfect day for a parade!

A parade for everyone.  

Old trucks and cool old cars.
Kids riding bikes & littler kids being pulled in little cars by their dads.
WWII vets getting loud cheers and whistles.
Local Democrats playing kazoos on a float.
A friend dressed as a watermelon.
Fire trucks and a drill team.
Smokey the Bear and tractors and horses.
Dogs, dogs dressed as Uncle Sam, the "real" Uncle Sam.
A lot of flags
and a lot of smiling faces.

There's a lot of political stuff I'm pretty mad about right now, but a small town 4th of July parade still brings up a lump in my throat and tears to my eyes.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

It's been a great day.

But . . .

The 4th isn't over until that big firework finale - 

Thanks for stopping by, Reds, and I hope you've enjoyed your virtual visit to Boone!

And now I want to know about you - which are you in your heart of hearts - big city or small town folk?


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  2. There is nothing like a small town celebration . . . and eggs benedict [yum] . . .
    I'm a small town girl . . . thanks for sharing the smiles!

  3. I am definitely a small town girl. Though I live in a not-tiny city and have for the last 25 years, I still love the atmosphere of the small town where I grew up.

  4. There's nothing like living in a small town and enjoying a holiday. Small towns are wonderful places to live. Thanks for sharing the Boone parade, great photos.

  5. OH, this is SO wonderful! Our laical parade was cancelled because of the terrible it's just perfect to be able to see what happened in Boone! ANd it is about as adorable as it gets..yes, I would have been in tears the whole time.

    What is MEAT CAMP?


  6. Thanks for sharing your parade with us.

    I'm a city girl at heart but love the pace of a small town.


  7. Now I'm craving eggs... Thank, Kaye... : )

  8. Hank - Meat Camp is the area outside of Boone where Donald and I live. From Wikipedia: "Meat Camp is an unincorporated community located in Watauga County, North Carolina, United States. It is supposedly named after a primitive packing house used by hunters since before the Revolutionary War. The community is located on Meat Camp Road (via NC 194), north of Boone.

    Situated along the Old Buffalo Trail and established before the Revolutionary War, Meat Camp was the location where hunters stored their dressed animal carcasses until they were ready to return to their homes in the lowlands. Between 1790-1800 a road was established through the area, connecting the Yadkin River Valley (near Wilkesboro) to Trade, Tennessee. In 1851, the Meat Camp Baptist Church was organized, establishing a permanent population in the area to this day."

  9. Y'all come to Boone for a visit - we'll have eggs anyway you want them at Melanie's. OR the best Belgian Waffles anywhere.

  10. I'm definitely big city. I love the theater, restaurants, museums,concerts, sports, everything to do with big cities. But, you know what I love about small towns? You're going to laugh. I like running a small town library, and knowing my patrons when they come in, and what they like to read. (smile)

  11. Spent all the summers of my childhood just outside of a very small town where I once rode a horse in the Fourth of July parade. Spent most of the intervening years in a fairy large city.

    Then I moved to a contiguous suburb which really is a village. The Fourth of July parade down the main street is something out of a Ray Bradbury story. And, at the risk of sounding like Sarah Palin, I can see the fireworks from my front lawn (over the street trees to the north.)

    And I'm a 20 minute drive from downtown Milwaukee (museums, court houses, etc.)-- and a half hour drive from the airport. And ten minutes from Lake Michigan (inland freshwater sea).

  12. Such fun, Kaye! Thanks for sharing. I confess (can I?) that I hate crowds. Really if I can't see my way OUT, I freak. So I stay away from parades and fireworks. Sounds like yours would be right up my alley.

  13. Hallie - I'm the very same way about crowds and missed years and years worth of fireworks while living in Atlanta because of that. So, yeppers, I think the parade and fireworks in Boone might really be right up your alley. A "No Hassle" 4th!

  14. Hallie - I'm the very same way about crowds and missed years and years worth of fireworks while living in Atlanta because of that. So, yeppers, I think the parade and fireworks in Boone might really be right up your alley. A "No Hassle" 4th!

  15. Dru - I read your FB posts about your life in the city, and I have to say, girl, you are doing it right! It sounds really, really lovely.

  16. Lesa - you have summed yourself up perfectly in that comment!

  17. While we're making confessions, I have to admit that when I first arrived in Atlanta in 1968, I was the happiest girl in town. I loved everything about it. I adapted to big city living like a fish to water. But. The Atlanta I loved changed. and I changed. And by the time we left there, it was just time. I will never ever forgive the city for destroying beautiful landmark buildings like The Carnegie Library to put up a building in its place with zip zero nada architectural integrity or design all in the name of progress. I could rant about this alone for days on end.

  18. Kaye, thanks for sharing the heart-warming celebration from Boone, named for my illustrious great-great-great-great uncle, Daniel Boone. We are directly descended from his brother Edward, who was killed at Blue Licks, here in Kentucky, when he was mistaken for Daniel, the intended target. These two brothers married sisters. There aren't more greats than four due to some of the Boone men having second families and some having children late. My father was 52 when I was born.

    I am definitely a small town girl at heart. I grew up in a town of 8-10,000, where my father was a real estate broker and knew everybody. Unfortunately, he let my dates know that he was familiar with their families back to the Stone Age, too. It was a wonderful, idyllic childhood growing up in Maysville, KY, hometown of Rosemary Clooney, where celebrations like those in Boone would bring out a large part of the population, and it was nice knowing so many of those people.

    Kaye, I would love to visit Boone sometime, and breakfast at Melanie's definitely would be a must. I was hoping it was closer to Raleigh than it is. I looked it up and it said 2 hours and 58 minutes. A friend and I are planning on attending Bouchercon 2015 in Raleigh. But, who knows. This friend and I have a habit of wandering on our trips. If we visit Boone after Bouchercon, I will be sure and see if you will be back there after the convention to eat at Melanie's with us.

  19. Hallie, I was just talking with a friend about my dislike of crowds, which I have had since the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City. RFK came into the room, and everyone went wild, a spontaneous demonstration that wouldn't stop, where everyone mobbed the front of the room, right under the rostrum.

    The demonstration was really for JFK, who alas wasn't there, and we all knew that. But in the middle of it, mashed in with people packed like sardines, I realized that there could be no escape if someone yelled "Fire." And I couldn't wait to get out, and have avoided crowds ever since.

  20. Thanks for sharing, Kaye! I lived in the big city for 25 years, loved the ballet, museum exhibits, concerts, street fairs, wonderful variety of restaurants, bookstores in quaint neighborhoods, the amenities of a big university. BUT. I'm a small-town girl at heart and feel deeply rooted in the landscape in which I grew up, the pace of life, the connection to people and a shared past. So glad I came home again!

  21. I just realized a comment I left this morning disappeared or didn't "take." harumph.

    Saying welcome to three small town "sisters of the heart" to Joan, Sandi and Mason. I'm familiar with where Mason lives and it is a wonderful, wonderful place.

  22. Ellen, I had a similar panic at a concert one time. Very scary. And it almost put me off going to concerts. It was with some very patient and perfect coaxing from my Donald that got me back on track.

  23. Kathy - Oh,how I wish Boone and Raleigh were closer!!!!! I miss so many terrific events at Quail Ridge Books because of the 3-4 hour drive. We do go down when we can when friends have a launch at Quail Ridge, but we end up spending the night and Harley goes with us and it becomes a two day trip instead of just a book event.

    I will be in Raleigh for B'Con for sure! I couldn't miss that one - especially since Margaret is Lifetime Achievement Honoree. AND, Lesa and I will be roommates, so it's going to be great. I look forward to seeing you there and if you decide to make the drive to Boone - yes, let's have breakfast at Melanie's!

  24. FChurch - I understand completely. And I envy you being back home where your roots are. I would so love to be back on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, but for now we have to be satisfied with trips home whenever we can make it.

  25. I loved Boone when we spent the night there years ago. When my husband was looking around for another job I tried to talk him into applying for a teaching job at the college there. I have bounced between cities (Houston currently) and small towns since we were married. I like them both.Houston puts on a fabulous Art Car Parade every May that is one big outdoor party and community get together. The best 4th of July parades are in small towns though. They are just more personal. You always know someone in the parade. I doubt we'll retire in Houston. I'm voting for a small town or the country but I'm afraid we'll be at odds as to where.

  26. I was in Ellsworth, Maine in December several years ago. Sitting by the window in the Riverside Cafe having brunch I had a ringside seat on their holiday parade. I hadn't seen anything like that in years. It really is delightful.

  27. We spent a week in Boone about 10/12 years ago. We visited the college library for the use of their computers - before we had a laptop. I wish I had known about Melanie's as we would have had breakfast there most days instead of cooking our own oatmeal in the condo. We saw all the sights within a 25-50 mile radius.
    If anyone wants to have a lovely vacation center yourself in Boone and enjoy.
    I grew up in a small town @3,000 people and love them.

  28. Like any small town, Boone has a lot to love about it - but a lot to love not so much, so I don't mean to make it sound utopian.

    But I do love most of Boone, most of the time.

    It's change a lot since you were here Gram and Pat D. The stretch of road between Boone and Blowing Rock has built up quite a bit in recent years, and unfortunately built up without much thought to zoning, which makes me sad.

    Libby, I think I had forgotten how delightful small town parades are until we re-discovered that joy through our Boone parades. A special piece of Americana does live on through small town parades.

  29. Kaye, I love your parade! Our town is in reality now a suburb of Dallas, but in the historic part where we live it still feels like a small town. We do have a parade, too, that goes down the main streets and around the town square. It used to go by our house but they've shortened it, boo.

    I don't know if I'm a city or a country girl. When I was a child we really did live in the country, and I loved it. But Dallas swallowed that town and marches ever northward. I think we have the best of both worlds in McKinney (and we are supposed to be one of the ten best places to live in the US.) Wonderful neighborhood and classic town square, small town feel, and yet we are 30 miles from downtown Dallas with all the arts and glamor you could want, and a 40 minute drive from a major international airport, which is a must for me.

    If I came to NC, however, I know I'd be tempted to stay:-)

  30. Debs, everything I see, read and hear of McKinney makes me know I would love it. especially if I could live in your wonderful old house!!

  31. Thanks for sharing Kaye !!

    great pictures

    It's been at least 7-8 yrs since I've been over to Boone - went oer one day to get some art supplies from cheap joes

    very nice area :)

  32. I'm taking this as a sign that maybe something will break for us soon! I have lived in the shadow of Atlanta my entire 53 years and since childhood I have wanted to live in these mountains in a small town. Instead, when I got some money, I adopted a child from China and then a second, and still we are here and practically unemployed and longing to move to Boone or Banner Elk or somewhere up there. I so wanted to raise my kids in that atmosphere instead of the rat race craziness here. They are now 17 years old. Sigh. But oh it looks wonderful and I am not giving up hope! Thanks for sharing this - so wonderful to see this great town!

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